Posted 9/11/2012 9:15 PM (GMT -6)
I am a 29 year old female, non smoker, 5" 0", 122 lbs.
I was in to see my cardiologist last week for racing/irregular heart, chest pain, previous left arm shoulder pain, and tingling in left hand. He ordered a stress test which I had done today.
When I got there, they got me all hooked up, and took my blood pressure, which was normal. They were recording my heart rate before the test, and it was consistently staying around 140 to 150 bpm. It would occasionally drop down to 80ish for a few seconds but then shoot right back up close to 150's, and this was all while sitting before starting the test! They had told me before hooking me up they wanted to get my heart rate up to 160 to 170 bpm (target heart rate for exersize). They watched my resting heart rate for a while and were debating if they could even put me on the treadmill with my heart rate staying around 150. One of the nurses left to check with a doc, came back and said they had the OK. But then they watched for a quite a bit longer, and consulted with a second cardiologist. They eventually had me get on the treadmill, and within the 1st minute of walking my heart rate was going between 160 and 170. And that was on a very slow speed, and no incline. They did end up going to the next speed and a bit of an incline and my heart rate went up to 196 pretty quickly, and once it was close to 200 they had me stop.
They had me sit down for a while and monitored me longer, my heart rate went back down to 150ish, and again would occasionally drop quickly to 80 or 90 and shoot right back up to 150. When it did drop so quickly, I got very dizzy and they had me lay down until it passed.
I do not have any results as of now, but I am curious if anyone has any input on if my previous inappropriate sinus tachycardia (see history below) is causing all of this or if this may be something else?
[A brief history of what has led up to this: During my pregnancy with my twins 4 years ago, I started having a lot of episodes of racing and irregular heart beats and shortness of breath (imagine that while carrying twins and being only 5' tall...no room to breath! LOL) My resting heart rate was more often than not hovering around 140 to 150 at that time, and I started seeing a cardiologist then. They did some tests at that time, and I was told I have inappropriate sinus tachycardia. They assumed it was all pregnancy related and would go away after the twins were born. The day we were discharged from the hospital when my twins were born, I ended up in the ER that evening because my heart was racing, I was vomiting, and just couldn't get it to slow down. I was given fluids and my iron was low. But they didn't find anything else.
Over the last 4 years, the episodes have continued, but not as bad or as often. Over last 6 months though, they have gotten worse.
Then this past July I woke up at 5:30 am out of a dead sleep and my heart was racing, pounding, and I was short of breath. My resting heart rate was around 140. After about an hour of it racing, and feeling short of breath I went to the ER. They did not do a ECG or anything, but they did some bloodwork. My potassium level came back as "critically low" so they did a CT scan to look for blood clots. Everything came back clear from that, and they gave me ativan and sent me home. It knocked me out and I slept all day. I believe they said I was having a panic attack, however I am not sure why my potassium was so low.
Then in August, we had gone to a movie and dinner for my daughters birthday and after dinner I started getting chest pain. My heart was not racing (which I though was weird because I am so used to it racing), but it actually seemed slow to me. The pain was pretty severe, and then my left shoulder started hurting, and my left hand was tingling. Since it was my daughters birthday, we decided to just call the dr. on call at our clinic and see if he advised going to ER or not. He said my risk of any heart problems is low with my age, and having seen a cardiologist a few years ago, not to worry, but keep my appt. I had scheduled with cardiologist the following month, which I did and that was my appt. I had last week when we scheduled the stress test.